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May 15th, 2009, 08:34 AM #1Just how much would YOU spend on a new Website? $178,000?
Wow! $178,000 for new Ocean City website? Officials Tout Resort's Improved Web Presence - http://tinyurl.com/rywmjb
That was one of my morning Tweets (Twitter.com/OceanCity) - just after I found that article in the local newspaper (online version, of course). That's Ocean City, Maryland, BTW.
And, they didn't even go through the usual bidding process. Here's a quote from the article: "Knight was one of four council members (Joe Mitrecic, Doug Cymek, and Lloyd Martin were the others) who voted in favor of the motion to allow MGH Advertising to design the town’s new website without going through the usual Request For Proposal (RFP) process in late October to the tune of $178,000."
In the article they definitely "tout" the increased traffic of 25,000 visitors since Monday's launch. But, that also do not emphasize the fact that on Monday they launched the TV ad portion of a $3-million advertising campaign - which promotes the site, audibly and in on-screen print. Here's a sample of one of the 30-second TV spots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo3SvwqJZtM
As someone who works in that market/niche, I find a couple points in the article a bit disturbing.
Your thoughts? (WooHoo? Ouch?)
May 15th, 2009, 09:08 AM #2
I am not a web designer but Ouch? I say over billed and somebody knows somebody.
-Tiled beach boardwalk tiled backgound? Newbie design from the '90s
-The nav bar drop down in light blue is hard to read
-The black font in center and at bottom with the light blue links also hard to read
-Some of the graphics are nice
-The beach scene graphic at top is ok
Is Rodney the only lifeguardin that town?
Where is the LifeGuard Girl?
May 15th, 2009, 09:11 AM #3
Can I bid on the next website upgrade?
May 15th, 2009, 09:29 AM #4Originally Posted by Jorge - JRami
The retro design is OK but the text need to be on white.
May 15th, 2009, 10:34 AM #5
The price tag was deemed about middle of the road after research from numerous people in local government and town staff found the figure to be not only on par with what competitors paid for a new state of the art website, but actually ended up being a bargain as some resort towns similar to Ocean City paid more than $200,000 for new websites, in some cases, not even getting all they wanted.
Yes, you could pay less and get fewer 'features', but when you're paying millions of dollars to drive people to the website you don't want to waste that opportunity.--
May 15th, 2009, 10:42 AM #6
- Join Date
- May 12th, 2009
As a web designer, I feel they paid about the right price considering the scope of the project. Yes, you may be able to find a talented web designer who could put together a look for less than that, but sites like this one usually require hiring a team of people (graphic designer, 1-2 programmers, editor, project manager, etc).
Websites built for small government initiatives often go for much more than that - but again, they usually require a team, not just an individual.
May 15th, 2009, 01:48 PM #7
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
How much would you spend on a car? ($500 or $18,000 for a used car? $9,500 or 48,000 for a new car?)
How much would you spend on a dress? ($20 or $100 for a casual-wear dress? $150 or $500 on a fancy dress? $300 or $5,000 for a wedding dress?)
How much would you spend on a book? (20 cents or $1 at a library book sale, $4 or $10 at the used-book store, $14.95 or $25.95 at a bookstore? $15 for a used textbook? $65 for a used textbook? $140 for a new textbook?)
How long is a piece of string?
It all depends.
- Does the web site project include multiple iterations of meetings with bureaucrats to try to define the goals and requirements?
- Does it include compliance with a laundry list of procurement and sub-contracting rules?
- Does it require incremental approval of project steps by bureaucrats?
- Does it include licensing any required third-party technologies or obtaining rights to display copyrighted materials?
- Does it actually include specification, design, and implementation of a new database, along with creation of a user interface to manage the database and the web site?
- Does the site require multiple user and administrative levels for city staff?
The problem with a traditional government "bidding" process for this kind of project is that it was probably not defined well initially, and many competent developers would never waste time creating a complex proposal and bid, knowing that the project will likely be assigned to a cheaper bidder who will then use the unsuccessful bidder's proposal to move forward.
The lowest bidder is fine for commodity products and for clearly-defined work. It doesn't work at all for complex customized projects whose initial scope isn't clearly defined. (In such situations, the initial "low bid" is gradually buried under the cost of an endless series of "change orders.")
This doesn't mean that this particular project price was fair for the specific work done -- I don't know what work was done. Nor does it mean that potential contractors for a complex project or one that requires incremental definition cannot be done more openly than usually occurs.
May 15th, 2009, 02:26 PM #8
After looking at it, yeah I would say a bit overpriced.
178k is the equivalent of someone working @ $20/hour over 4 years.
$20/hr is more than many jobs pay (airline pilot? http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/670974.html?imw=Y)
OTOH, It is a lot better than the old site you see on archive.org
More to come: "The site as it looks currently is only in its first stage"
And I guess its all relative, compared to 3M spent in adv., just a drop in the bucket.
May 15th, 2009, 03:20 PM #9
As Mark pointed out, it's not only about the backend & technical issues, but dealing with a bureacracy, politics, compliance, licensing, etc. I'm not crazy about the design, to me it's bland and not even good retro.
Now maybe it's because I'm from NJ, but I think Asbury Park got retro right:
Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz
May 15th, 2009, 04:17 PM #10
Originally Posted by ghoti
- Join Date
- May 31st, 2006
- Houston TX
They could have come up with something like this for 20-30k
Easy to update, user friendly and easy on the eyes.
For the oceancity, if you do not have flash and the right version, you are screwed.
I know a person who did a website at Wyndham requires XYZ plugin and XYZ flash, so that cause a bunch load of $hit when they launced as that eliminated a lot of people.
May 15th, 2009, 11:30 PM #11
As it turns out I'm lovin' this new ad campaign by the city of Ocean City. I have a "sound-alike" site to the one they are now committed to advertising on TV and radio. Not a typo or a squatter type name, but actually a more "descriptive" name than the one they are using for Ocean City (which is totally different than the one they promoted last year). It has been basically undeveloped for the last five years - and it makes a few consistent sales - but now the TRAFFIC HAS NEARLY TRIPLED THIS WEEK. WooHoo!
So, I've got some serious development work to do this weekend! From what I've seen the city has committed $3.7 million to advertising through the end of August. Am I a happy camper right now or what? You betcha.
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